David Seymour says National have 'failed' on vision and housing

  • 20/09/2017

ACT leader David Seymour says the National party have failed when it comes to vision and the housing crisis.

"The average house in my electorate is 10 times what I earn, no one can afford a house that's 10 times what they earn…I think that shows we've got a real problem," he told the AM Show on Wednesday. 

Mr Seymour said the election was on a "knife edge" and National "have looked down on vision".

He said National had "failed on housing" and it was "pathetic" that only 6000 houses had been built in Auckland last year.

The ACT leader said his party wants to replace the Resource Management Act to allow houses to be built faster, and bring in a new policy to pay teachers more to address the shortage. 

"The teaching profession is undervalued and underpaid by a billion bucks which is about $20,000 per teacher," he said.

"ACT's policy is let's increase their pay back to where it was compared to the average wage when I was at school, and also say we're going to give this to principals to pay the best teachers more and the good teachers more."

He said when he was at school in the 1980s teachers earned twice the average salary but they now earn only 1.3 times the salary.

"That's why there's a shortage of teachers, that's why people are seriously worried about it." 

Teachers unions have opposed Mr Seymour's plans, because the policy would also require schools to opt-out of collective agreements and the centralised payroll system.

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) said that paying teachers based on performance would pit teachers against each other.

"They want to play politics. I'm here asking people who want to rise above that and value teaching as a profession, just like engineering or law or accounting or architecture to give their party vote to ACT as a vote to pay the good teachers more and the best teachers a lot more," he said.

National education spokesperson Nikki Kaye and Labour education spokesperson Chris Hipkins have both opposed the policy, saying they supported teachers being paid more but did not support performance pay.